It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas!

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We are knee deep in December, in case you haven’t glanced at your calendar. For most people, it means lugging out Christmas ornaments, decorating the tree and enjoying hot chocolate weather. For me, I’m a little behind on the tree and waaaay off on the weather. It’s awfully balmy for this time of the year and I wish I could bribe the weather with cookies. I’m in the process of sending out Christmas baskets to almost everyone I know while sipping chilled lemonade and listening to Christmas music about how cold it is outside and snowmen named Frosty – irony at its hilt. I thought I’d recap some of my favorite Christmas recipes in case you feel up to some last minute cookie gifting. It’s not because I’ve been overworked lately and haven’t had the time to rustle up something new. Not at all. ‘Tis the season!

#1 Gluten Free Brownies

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They’re made with ground up oats and almonds and are serious break from the sugar mania. They’re unbelievably moist and everything a good brownie is supposed to be. Gift a batch of these to those with allergies or possibly just want something light and indulgent. I’ve gifted a few this season and I highly recommend letting them chill overnight in the refrigerator because they are super crumbly. You can bake these in a disposable foil container, wrap it up in cling wrap and put a pretty bow on top. For further festive touch, add some red and green M & M’s!

#2 Eggnog

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I’ll admit I don’t always wait for Christmas to make eggnog. It’s so creamy and cinnamon-y and the ultimate comfort drink – spiked or not. I love making a big batch for annual Christmas family dinners as part of dessert – it pairs extremely well with apple cake.

#3 Chocolate Almond Wafer Cookies

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I love icebox cookies – you make a giant batch, roll it up and store it in the freezer and bake as per your wish. These recipes are especially helpful during busy times like these. If you don’t like almonds, swap them for pecans or macadamia nuts (unsalted). You can also roll them up in sprinkles! I’m all about the sprinkles this season.

#4 Grown-Up Chocolate Pound Cake

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Nothing like cake, in my opinion, to get a party started. I love this cake – for the boozy flavor, for the perfect flavor marriage of coffee and chocolate and the whole simplicity of it all. A simple glaze of your favorite dark chocolate (about 200g) and 2 tablespoons of cream or even more Kahlua will dress it up a little bit.

#5 Chocolate Syrup

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People always, always appreciate a little bit of pantry staples stuff. This syrup is my go-to for adding a little bit of sparkle on a dull day – be it coffee, ice-cream or even a cold glass of milk (for a special kick, add some sea salt). I cannot stand pre-packaged, processed stuff anymore and I always prefer a DIY route when possible. This is a gratifying example. Make sure you sterilize the jars before adding the syrup – its sanitary and elongates the shelf life. Watch a simple how-to video on sterilizing here.

#6 Flavored Butter

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Lately, I’ve been loving recipes that allow me to add my own twists to them – it’s so liberating. This butter is perfectly adaptable to many, many variations. But how can you ignore honey, vanilla AND cinnamon?

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